Dear Dr. Archer,
Two of my cousins from different mothers, who are sisters, are schizophrenic. Does it mean that it is in our family genes? I know that one of them used to take drugs, but the other one never did.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
To get the full scope of schizophrenia and family statistics, check out the chart on Schizophrenia.com. The chart illustrates not only that schizophrenia has a significant genetic factor, but also gives you the percentage chance of inheriting schizophrenia based on your family tree. For instance, you can see identical twins have a 48 percent chance of contracting schizophrenia, not 100 percent as you would think.
As research continues, we're learning that it's not just genetics, but also environmental factors that count. Also, as you can see from the chart, for first cousins, that number drops to 2 percent. Thus the risk would be low for you.